When doing research about what attachment theory tells us about the quality of relationships, as well as its potential for emotional needs satisfaction, what we usually find is that childhood experiences have a very important role in our lives.
Sometimes we hear about the challenges that passive aggression and other defensive behaviors have on marriages, but we fail to connect these present, adult behavior failures with the past conditioning produced in us by the family we grew up with.
So now we have a wife who is totally confused and blindsided by the spouse’s behavior, and that frustrated wife erroneously connects her husband’s unhappiness and their current problem to something she either did or didn’t do.
In short, the present spouse makes herself responsible for her husband’s behavior, and in taking this weight on, she tries to find the reason of the communication failure, so she can “heal it.”
Nobody enters into a relationship with a disclaimer, or an instruction letter that would make it easier for the wife to know the territory she is entering. If such a letter did exist, the instructions on how to deal with a passive aggressive husband would begin with capital letters:
“THIS IS A CONDITION YOU DID NOT CAUSE~
YOU CAN’T NEITHER CURE OR CONTROL IT,"
NOW, can you stop blaming yourself!”
Wouldn’t that kind of disclaimer be a god-sent message? It would save so much pain, grief and time... which of course translates into lost happiness. Together in this blindness is the passive aggressive spouse, who will support to his death the conviction that his behavior is normal and everybody else is “too demanding” or "needy" or whatever way he uses to describe a wife with emotional needs going unsolved.
Let me recap: if you are in a passive aggressive relationship, take a step back and frame everything under this mantra: I did not cause his condition, I can’t cure him and the best I can do is not to take personally anything of the hurtful behaviors he is doing now.
When it gets hard, remind yourself:
Whatever he is doing now,
- it is his only way of responding; he doesn’t know better;
- it is the response he learned with his primary care-taker or mother;
- your best way of protecting yourself is letting the behavior go away without engaging on it. Just ignore it.
Now that you have this vital piece of information, what are you going to do?
Certainly not try to change him yourself. That role lies with him whose behavior it is! To encourage him to take his own behavior into his own hands, we encourage passive aggressive husbands to take our Passive Aggressive Test. He will be guided to see for himself that these are his own behaviors (not yours or your responsibility). And YES, WE can help him change himself with the "6 Steps System to Stop Passive Aggression and Save your Marriage!"